Milan Design Week wrap up
Milan Design Week has become an icon in the design industry calendar, showcasing some of the best furniture design from around the globe. We sat down with Rachel Farrugia, Senior Interior Designer at Powell & Glenn and designer of our beautiful George + Powlett interiors, to discuss standout exhibitors as well as inspiration she has taken home to Australia.
What stood out the most to you at the Milan Design Week? Did anything surprise you?
The stand out over the week was a combination of the atmosphere of the event, which took hold of the city, and the extent of the offering. The city saw a 26% increase in attendance from last year and you could feel the presence and curiosity wherever you went.
I tried to combine visits to the fairgrounds, showrooms, installations, industry events and participated in tours to maximise my exposure of the Design Week experience.
This year we saw the biggest show of Australian design in Milan to date, what do think this says for Australia as a global actor in design?
It’s certainly very positive and encouraging. As an Australian designer it is sometimes harder to feel as closely connected to the design scenes and hubs around the world, such as Milan, Tokyo, Seoul, but I think through large format design events such as Milan Design Week we have the opportunity to carve out our place and be represented with some very progressive and contemporary designers. Perhaps in some ways this may be a good thing, allowing for design thinking without comparisons or external influence.
Do you have a favourite of the Australian designs?
Yes, there was a collection of 26 Aussie designers who took part in ‘Local Milan’ via the design collective ‘Local Design’ where I found the ‘standing floor lamp’ by Nick Fuller.
The simplicity and combination of materials created a sense of raw, refined beauty.
In your opinion, what was the international stand out?
I cannot go past all three Henry Timi experiences; these being his showroom, installation inside a church and a private tour of his apartment (from his girlfriend) which was facilitated by ViaBizzuno.
Each were quite different but equally as serene and delightful. His kitchens, bath and basin ware, furniture items and obvious precisions were a new experience for me and definitely had my inspiration peaking! All of which was complimented by ViaBizzuno lighting both architectural and decorative to light truly beautiful spaces to be in.
What will you be bringing back to Australia with you? Inspiration? A particular piece?
Definitely feeling inspired following Milan Design Week. Aside from hundreds of photos, I think it’s the availability of so many new and accessible design pieces – which will be influencing my selections in the future.
What key trends do you see for the remainder of 2018 in terms of design?
At Milan Design Week, there was a big emphasis on raw materiality; which aligns with Powell & Glenn’s design ethos very closely. I saw a lot of muted tones and I think the simplicity in the materiality of many pieces really allowed the functionality and design itself to shine.